Which Allergies Cause Puffy Eyes
Allergies that cause puffy eyes are a result of three different forms: airborne, contact and ingested. For each type, the allergen enters the body and causes the immune system to overreact, releasing histamines which in turn cause the inflammation.
Airborne allergies often affect both the eyes and nose. Among the airborne allergies that cause puffy eyes are seasonal allergies, caused by increased pollen in the air from various sources, including various grasses and ragweed. Other airborne allergens include mold spores, pet dander and dust mites.
Contact allergies are caused by direct physical contact with the allergen, and are contained within the range of that contact. Common contact allergens to cause puffy eyes are makeup, contact lenses and certain eye drops.
Allergies that cause puffy eyes via ingestion are often food allergies, which may also cause swelling of facial tissues. Those who suffer from lactose intolerance may experience puffy eyes as a side effect of overall bloating caused by this condition.Shellfish allergies also cause inflammation that can affect the eye area.
What Is Itchy Eyes
Avoid Rubbing Your Itchy Eyes
As tempting as it may be, you should avoid rubbing your itchy eyes. Here are a few reasons why:
- If you have eye allergies, rubbing can release more histamine, which is a chemical released by cells in the body that is associated with an allergic reaction. When you rub your eyes, you could cause them to feel even itchier and more irritated.
- You could mistakenly scratch your cornea with a fingernail. This could require medical attention.
- Too much eye rubbing can lead to a condition called keratoconus, which causes blurry vision, double vision, and astigmatism .
- As reiterated during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should avoid touching your face so you dont transmit germs.
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What Is The Basic Anatomy Of The Outer Eye
Eye allergies mainly involve the conjunctiva, which is the tissue lining that covers the white surface of the eyeball and the inner folds of the eyelids. The conjunctiva is a barrier structure that is exposed to the environment and the many different allergens that become airborne. It is rich in blood vessels and contains more mast cells than the lungs.
The lacrimal glands are located in the upper and outer portions of the eye. They are responsible for producing the watery part of tears, which keeps the eye moist and washes away irritants. The tears also contain important parts of the immune defense such as immunoglobulins , lymphocytes , and enzymes.
The cornea is the transparent sheath in front of the lens of the eye. The cornea has no blood vessels and very little immune activity.
Allergic conjunctivitis, also called “allergic rhinoconjunctivitis,” is the most common allergic eye disorder. The condition is usually seasonal and is associated with hay fever. The main cause is pollens, although indoor allergens such as dust mites, molds, and dander from household pets such as cats and dogs may affect the eyes year-round. Typical complaints include itching, redness, tearing, burning, watery discharge, and eyelid swelling. To a large degree, the acute symptoms appear related to histamine release.
Conjunctivitis with atopic dermatitis
Giant papillary conjunctivitis
Puffy Eyes Caused By Allergies: Triggers And Treatments
- Puffy eyes are often due to allergic reactions and can be triggered by such irritants as pet dander, dust mites and mold.
- Puffy eyes are a result of three different forms of allergies: airborne, contact and ingested.
- Several over the counter and prescription treatments are available to treat the causes and symptoms of puffy eyes.
The eyes are typically where the signs of allergies are most commonly seen, including swollen and watery eyes, redness and itching. A variety of treatments exist, including home remedies, OTC and prescription medications.
The treatment you choose will often depend on the severity of the allergic reaction and the root cause.
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How Is Allergic Conjunctivitis Treated
Oftentimes with allergy symptoms, the best course of action is to simply avoid whatever triggers an allergic reactionfor instance, if you’re allergic to cats and you know your friend has a cat, suggest a meeting place outside their home so you don’t risk having an allergic reaction to their pet. The same goes for allergic conjunctivitis, Kanwaljit Brar, MD, an allergist at NYU Langone, tells Health. “The best approach is to be preventative,” Dr. Brar explains.
Experts advise making an appointment with an allergist if you find that you frequently suffer from allergic conjunctivitisif your eyelids start swelling and your eyes start watering at seemingly random timesand you have no clue what your allergen is. “If you see an allergist, you can identify what you’re allergic to we can predict when patients’ symptoms will ,” says Dr. Brar.
From there, an allergist can help you make simple lifestyle changes that eliminate allergic conjunctivitis and other allergy-related issues, says Dr. Hajee. So if your allergist tests you and determines that pollen is likely what’s triggering your symptoms, they can advise you to stay inside during certain times of the day when the pollen count in your region is highest, says Dr. Brar. By tweaking your routine by, say, going on your outdoor run at a different time when the pollen count is typically lower, your symptoms might lessen without the use of medication.
When Should You Call A Doctor For Dry Eyes
You should call your doctor if your eyes are itchy, red, and irritated for a long period of time. You should also contact your doctor if you experience blurred or sudden decreased vision or if you have pain in your eyes.
Your doctor may refer you to a specialist, such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist, to determine whats bothering your eyes. The specialist will usually conduct a thorough examination of your eyes. They will likely measure the volume of your tears. They may also measure how quickly your tears evaporate from the surface of your eye.
Treatment is aimed at restoring a normal amount of tears in your eyes. You can typically care for your dry eyes at home with over-the-counter drugstore treatments.
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Medical Treatment For Eye Allergies
Lots of over-the-counter meds, like allergy or antihistamine eye drops as well as antihistamines you take by mouth, can help against mild allergies. Follow the directions on the packages exactly.
Prescription eye drops usually work well, and most donât have side effects. Many of them are taken twice a day, and can be used to prevent an allergic reaction. Some common ones include:
Triggers Of Eye Allergies
- Cause. An allergic reaction of the eyes to allergic substance. The medical name for this is allergic conjunctivitis. The allergic substance is called an allergen. Most allergens float in the air. That’s how they get in the eyes. Here are the common ones:
- Pollens. Trees, grass, weeds and molds are the most common pollens. Tree pollens come in the spring. Grass pollens come in the summer. Weed pollens come in the fall. Pollens cause seasonal allergies. You can’t avoid pollens because they are in the air. Most eye allergies continue through the pollen season. They can last 4 to 8 weeks. Pollens cause seasonal eye allergies.
- Pets. Allergens can also be from cats, dogs, horses, rabbits and other animals. Pet allergens are in the air. They can also get in the eyes from the hands. Most people don’t keep a pet that they are allergic to. They only have sporadic allergy symptoms when they are exposed to a pet. These symptoms usually last a few hours. If you own the pet, your child will have symptoms all the time.
- House Dust. House dust contains many allergens. It always contains dust mites. If your humidity is high, it will contain mold. If someone with a cat visits you, they will bring cat dander with them. House dust causes year round, daily symptoms. The medical name for this is perennial eye allergies.
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When Do You Need To See A Doctor
While there’s a good chance that your symptoms will clear up once you remove whatever’s causing them, you shouldn’t hesitate to seek medical help if certain concerning symptoms arise, experts warn.
If your eyeball, rather than your eyelid, is swollen, you should head to a doctor’s office immediately, Dr. Hajee says. Additionally, if your eyeball is in any pain, or if any area around the eye is in severe pain, that should prompt a visit to the doctor’s office, too.
MedlinePlus adds that other symptomslike if your vision is affected or you have a severe headachealso warrant emergency medical treatment.
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Discontinue Contact Lens Use
Wearing contact lenses can cause eyes to be itchy even at night. Some people may wear their contact lenses overnight, which may lead to further itching.
Contact lens users who get itchy eyes at night might think about taking their contact lenses out to give their eyes a break until the itching stops.
Also, changing the type of contact lens a person wears may help. A disposable contact lens may help prevent future eye irritation that can lead to itchy eyes at night.
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How Do Specialists Diagnose An Eye Allergy
Most often, a medical professional is able to diagnose allergic conjunctivitis from the symptoms alone. Testing is rarely necessary. In certain cases, an ophthalmologist may perform the following test to rule out other conditions:
- The front of the eyes is examined using a special microscope, called a slit lamp. Using the slit lamp, an ophthalmologist checks the eyes for dilated blood vessels, conjunctival swelling, and eyelid swelling, all of which are indicative of an allergic reaction.
- Rarely, scraping of the conjunctiva is performed to check for eosinophils. Eosinophils are certain white blood cells that are commonly associated with allergies.
- An allergist may perform testing to identify an environmental trigger for eye symptoms. Testing generally involves skin prick testing for a standard panel of airborne allergens. The allergist may also order blood work looking for allergic antibodies for various allergens .
What Are The Home Remedies To Relieve Itchy Eyes
There are many effective remedies to manage itchy eyes at home. You can try a cold compress with an ice pack or damp cloth to ease the discomfort of itching. You can splash your eyes with cold water to get rid of itchy eyes. Some herbal remedies include using Chandan , radish leaves, aparajita leaves, and punarnava leaves, which can be used to relieve the symptoms of an itchy eye.1,36
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Drink Lemon Juice To Tackle Allergic Reactions
Lemon contains the flavonoid hesperetin and vitamin C. Both these compounds have antihistamine properties and can help prevent an allergic reaction. One case study found that a woman who was sensitive to a variety of substances from detergents, dust, and pollen to perfumes experienced relief from symptoms when she had lemon juice. Interestingly, the lemon juice worked in half an hour and cleared symptoms of not only eye allergy but also nasal allergy.78
Rubbing Makes Eye Allergies Worse
Red, itchy eyes can be so uncomfortable, it’s tempting to rub or scratch. As much as you may want to, try to keep your hands away. Rubbing will only make symptoms worse by triggering the release of more inflammatory chemicals. Refrain from wearing eye makeup that might irritate eyelids. Wear glasses instead of contact lenses. Apply cold compresses over the area to help relieve symptoms. Wash your hands often to minimize introducing dirt or allergic substances into sensitive eyes.
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Symptoms Of Eye Allergy
Eye allergy is accompanied by a group of symptoms that are common among patients in general, such as:
- Itchy eyes.
- Sensitivity to light, especially the very bright light.
- Pain in the eyes.
- Eczema, which is often accompanied by severe itching and dryness.
Sometimes, these symptoms may be accompanied by congestion, runny nose, or sneezing due to irritation and sensitivity in the nose or respiratory system.
Eye allergy symptoms are often confused with the symptoms of one of the other eye diseases called conjunctivitis or Pink Eye. but they are differentiated by the symptoms that may affect the respiratory system in the case of eye allergy.
as we mentioned earlier, which is:
but the distinctive symptom of conjunctivitis is the presence of secretions. that may reach the stage of the patients inability to open his eyes. especially in the morning upon awakening.
When To Get Medical Care
Your symptoms should improve on their own if you know what youâre allergic to and you can avoid it.
But if you donât know what causes your allergy, skin testing by an allergist can help figure it out.
If you still donât know or you canât avoid the cause, a doctor who specializes in eye care and surgery — an ophthalmologist or optometrist — may be able to help.
If you have seasonal allergies, make an appointment with them prior to your allergic season. This will let you start treatment before your symptoms kick in.
If you have perennial allergies, routine appointments may be helpful. Occasional flare-ups may mean you need to see them more often. It might also help to get a consultation with an allergist.
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Eye Drops Can Provide Relief
Many of the eye drops you can buy over the counter from the pharmacy contain active ingredients that are the same as those that treat nasal allergies. Different active ingredients treat different aspects of allergies. Antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers prevent the release of histamine and other compounds that cause itchy eyes. Artificial tears and tear substitutes used for dry eye syndrome keep eyes lubricated and help rinse away allergens. drops minimize the appearance of blood vessels, which cause red eyes. Some kinds of eye drops may not be appropriate for some individuals, so discuss any you intend to use with your doctor first. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drops and steroids are available from your doctor by prescription. Ask your doctor for an eye care routine that is best for you.
Articles On Eye Allergies
Millions of Americans have allergies. Most of those millions have symptoms involving their eyes.
There are several different causes for this. But for the most part, if you’re allergic to a particular substance and then come into contact with it, you have an allergic reaction like itching and sneezing.
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Why The Itchy Watery Eyes
When allergens reach the surface of the eye, cells that are part of our immune system release histamine, causing inflammation of the eye tissues and specifically in the conjunctiva the mucous membrane covering the front of the eye and under the eyelids. This process leads to the swelling and itching symptoms of eye allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis.
What Is The Prognosis Of Eye Allergies
The prognosis is favorable for most patients with eye allergies. Typically symptoms clear up quickly with OTC/home treatment or when the offending allergen is not present any more. Unfortunately the symptoms may reoccur depending on the cause of the eye allergy. Health complications are very rare, but medical attentions should be sought immediately for any pain or vision loss that occurs or for symptoms that do not resolve within 12 hours.
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What Exactly Causes Seasonal Allergies
During spring were exposed to airborne pollen from wind-pollinated plants that is so microscopic, it stays suspended in the air. When we go outside, the pollen sticks to us in places, such as in between our eyelashes, causing chemical reactions and the release of histamines, which are responsible for the itchiness, redness, and sneezing. Whats worse, pollen is so small that it can continue to irritate us even after weve gone indoors.
How To Get Rid Of Puffy Eyes From Allergies
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If you have allergies, you know it is not unusual for those allergies to affect your eyes. The eyes can become red and itchy, and the skin around the eyes can become puffy. This eyelid swelling, along with other allergy symptoms, can be treated by identifying the cause of the allergic response and limiting exposure 2. Use of cold compresses, eye drops and oral medication may also be helpful.
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